Targeting gaming sites to combat political apathy

I saw a tweet last night suggesting that some of the cyber attacks on game systems (Eve, WoW, Sony’s SOE, etc.) may be an effort to combat political apathy. While this is an interesting theory and I can see that members of the hacktivist groups might think that if they turn off games that users might stop playing games and pay attention to the political landscape.

I think this strategy is likely to backfire. Most gamers aren’t going to say, “Oh I can’t get to my realm on raid night, so I think I’ll flip on FoxNews/CNN/MSNBC and see what’s going on in the world.” Just ask a parent how well it goes when you turn off the PS3/XBox/Computer and tell your child to go outside and play. Most kids go grumbling under their breath and sit outside as directed. They don’t rush off into the sunshine happy to be outside and freed from their electronic master.

Many of the gamers may be sympathetic the hacktivists ideals. Most gamers don’t care about the Senate, or banks, or big companies being hacked. I’ve heard students of mine say things like, “yeah hack those fat cats” –or– “those places can afford security so it serves them right”
When the PSN attack went public the comments changed dramatically. People were upset that their entertainment services were being interrupted.

I think continued attacks on games will only serve to fuel the public outcry to stop the groups. Many people who may be sympathetic to hacktivist ideals will be turned into proponents of the system.

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Twitter Updates for 2011-06-17

  • @apple back to school deal isn't a new iPod? Lame. M$ is dishing out xboxes and @Sony is giving away cameras. #fb #
  • Lewis is no longer allowed unfettered access to the MPB. No PotBS work done. No labs written. Just 100s pics of orangutans d/l. #fb #
  • Lewis is being cross. The maid took away his remote. #fb #
  • I'm at City Barbeque #

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Twitter Updates for 2011-06-16

  • over stretched ligament in my knee. 2 hours at the hospital this morning. 7-10 days on crutches #fb #
  • A quiet night in with Lewis and Grabriel Bontete thanks to my rotten fleshy knee. I should replace it with a cool mechanical one. #fb #

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Twitter Updates for 2011-06-15

  • The fun begins today. #
  • I'm at Five Guys Burgers & Fries (3286 Pentagon Blvd, Beavercreek) #

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Twitter Updates for 2011-06-14

  • Hello Monday, I remembered my cufflinks today. I'm going to make you a good day, whether you want to be one or not. #fb #
  • I'm at Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy (2420 North Fairfield Road, Beavercreek) #

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PotBS: Demo missions

The first thing new French players see in the Burning Seas is a party. The good times end almost immediately as pirates crash and shoot your captain. You dash outside to fight off more scoundrels. This is a really good way to teach players how to fight. Each opponent arrives and paitently waits for you to read the pop up teaching you how to swing your sword or shoot your pistol. After you read the text box and then press the right button, you swing your sword and kill the target. After you dispatch enough of these slow witted ruffians you run off to the long boat to repeat the process on a ship in a nice little sheltered harbor.

Once you run through the fighting and sailing demo missions you return to you dying captain and he sends you off into the world…

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Twitter Updates for 2011-06-13

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Pirates of the Burning Seas experience

In researching the PotBS game I read that the online installer was better (more up to date) than the off the shelf CD, so I opted to download the game; it’s 7 gigabytes and took me the better part of a day to get downloaded and installed.

There are two servers left. According to wikipedia the servers have been getting merged, probably as the player base shrinks. That makes me a little nervous that the game may go away, but Sony Online Entertainment has kept Galaxies and EQ around for a long time so I’m hopeful that PotBS will remain playable for a while longer. One of the two has EU-EN after its name. My guess is that is for Europeans who speak english. I was a bit concerned when I signed on to the Antigua server and saw a great deal of french in the chat channel, but all the logs, interface and NPCs are in english.

The character customization screen is busy, lots of character features and clothing to select from and several items can be custom colored. It took some time to scroll through all the options and get just the right shade of blues for my French naval officer character.

The PotBS wiki has some good info about what each of the classes do and I read through them all to get a feel for what would be a good starting character. My play style is DPS in almost all MMOs that I play, so I figured start with what I know 🙂

After i got my guy built and dressed appropriately I was off to the noob valley for Frenchies…

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Pirate MMOs

I learned that Pirates of the Burning Sea has gone to a freemium business model, so I decided to give it a try. I’ve been playing Pirates of the Caribbean On-line ever since the Mac version came out. I had to use my Bootcamp partition to play PotBS, there is no Mac version and the support forums make it pretty clear that there won’t be one anytime soon.

Pirates of the Caribbean On-line is a fun pirate MMO with an easy to learn interface. There isn’t an in game economy and the only crafting one can do is making potions for your own use. It runs on both Mac and PC and Disney just added content to the game from the new PotC movie. You wander about islands doing quests and set sail in a ship that can be crewed by other players to engage in high seas hijinx.

Pirates of the Burning Seas is a bit hard to get a handle on. It’s game mechanics are more complicated, but it’s dazzling graphically. PotBS is also more true to life in sailing. You have to consider your ship type and the direction of the wind while on the water. You sail alone in your own ship but can join groups. There’s a whole PvP and faction on faction system I haven’t explored yet (I’m only level 7.) The crafting and economy section of the game is complex but looks like it will be a lot of fun once I figure it out. PotBS feels a lot closer to other pirate games (Sid Meier’s and the board game Merchants and Marauders)
I’m definately going to keep working on my French Naval officer and see what more the game has in store.

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Twitter Updates for 2011-06-11

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